Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

The Lesser Known... Colin Kolles 12 Oct 2007

Colin Kolles (GER) Spyker Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Turkish Grand Prix, Race Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Sunday, 26 August 2007 (L to R): Andy Stevenson (GBR) Spyker F1 Racing Team Manager with Mike Gascoyne (GBR) Spyker Chief Technical Officer and Colin Kolles (GER) Spyker Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2007 (L to R): Colin Kolles (GER) Spyker Team Principal with Nick Fry (GBR) Honda Racing F1 Team Chief Executive Officer and John Howett (GBR) President of Toyota F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 15 September 2007 (L to R): Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) CEO Kingfisher with Colin Kolles (GER) Spyker Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2007 Sakon Yamamoto (JPN) Spyker F8-VII.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007

The 2007 Formula One season has been an eventful one for the Spyker squad. They have topped a practice session, scored their first world championship point, led a Grand Prix for the first time and secured yet another new owner.

Presiding over all this has been indomitable team principal Colin Kolles. And as Spyker look forward to an even brighter 2008, we discover there is far more to Kolles than that infamous Burberry cap moment…

Q: Best part of being a team principal?
Colin Kolles:
Seeing your team do well, especially when it’s unexpected. This season’s Nurburgring race is a good example of this.

Q: The most annoying?
CK:
Probably the travel. Between races I go to meetings all over the world and I never seem to be at home for very long.

Q: Running a Formula One team is like…
CK:
There is nothing like it!

Q: What would you be if you weren’t a team principal?
CK:
Either a dentist or running a team in another formula, such as Formula Three. There’s not that much difference is there?

Q: The first thing I do after a race is…
CK:
Depends on the result. If it’s good, we smile. If it’s bad, I speak to the team in detail about the race about what went wrong.

Q: Winning a race would mean…
CK:
Everything! And a lot of money…

Q: What is your favourite place to relax?
CK:
My office in Silverstone. Everything is around me that I need to see.

Q: Funniest thing you've read about yourself in the press?
CK:
That I am the ‘Chavski’ of Formula One. I only wore the hat once because I had sunburn and Burberry was the only shop in the hotel…

Q: The most difficult decision you had to make as a team principal?
CK:
All decisions have a certain element of difficulty, you just have to make the best one you can at the time.

Q: Best time during a race weekend?
CK:
When your car is racing well.

Q: Formula One and politics is like…
CK:
Is there a difference? You can’t separate one from the other.

Q: Your best moment as a team principal?
CK:
There have been many - when we signed our first big sponsorship deal, when we led a Grand Prix at the Nurburgring and knowing that we are moving forward.

Q: Something you always wanted to do but never had the time?
CK:
You get a lot of opportunities in this job to do things you never thought you would do!

Q: How was your first race as a team principal?
CK:
A real learning experience.

Q: Who would you like to be for one day?
CK:
Bernie Ecclestone.

Q: Does money change everything?
CK:
It doesn’t change everything, but it can make life easier.